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UPA CHAIRPERSON SONIA GANDHI SETS AN EXAMPLE – COMES TO MUMBAI TO INAUGURATE RAJEEV GANDHI BHAVAN IN ECONOMY CLASS

soniyaCongress President Sonia Gandhi is learnt to have given her nod for an alliance with the NCP and a formal announcement could be expected soon. On the other hand, the NCP too is understood to have decided to accept 113 to 115 seats, of the total 288, offered by Congress. NCP Chief Sharad Pawar had said “we will not like to break the alliance for two-three seats”. This signals the conclusion of the alliance discussion, a Congress leader pointed out. Congress and NCP are sharing power in the state for the past 10 years and had fought elections together in 2004. With only three days left before the election process is set in motion with the notification by the governor on September 18, there was palpable tension between the two over the fate of the 10-yearold alliance. Later, during her short visit to Mumbai, Congress President Sonia Gandhi inaugurated the renovated Mumbai Congress headquarters in South Mumbai named after her husband late Rajiv Gandhi. and spoke of Maharashtra’s historic association with the Congress. She, however, stayed away from making any statement as regards to an alliance with the Sharad Pawar-led outfit. Sonia Gandhi, who traveled the economy class ignoring security concerns, in line with the UPA government’s austerity drive, asked party workers to identify themselves with the common man. Skirting the issue of alliance with the NCP, Ms Gandhi virtually kicked off her party’s campaign for the October 13 elections with a call to workers to keep the Congress flag “flying high” and ensure it won maximum number of seats. The enthusiasm and vigour with which you worked in the recent Lok Sabha polls gives me confidence that the Congress will emerge victorious in the Maharashtra assembly elections once again. The programs and policies of the Congress for the common man – farmers, backward classes, minorities and middle class – helped the party return to power at the Centre for the second straight term. It is for the first time since 1991 that the people have voted us to power for a second straight term,” she said, adding this indicated that the party’s programmes for the “aam admi” were a runaway success. She recalled the relation between Congress and Mumbai. She appealed to Maharashtra to support the Congress. Several senior leaders of the party including Maharashtra Election in Charge A K Anthony and CM Ashok Chavan among others. With cameraperson Ranjeet Gupta, Dheeraj Mishra for NMTV News.

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